The International Organization for
Migration’s support to the Government of Indonesia’s
peace-building efforts in Aceh province today received a One
Billion Yen (US$8.6 million) contribution from the Japanese
Indonesia’s Vice President Yusuf Kalla
witnessed the signing of the agreement by IOM Chief of Mission
Steve Cook and Japan’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Yutaka
Iimura, during a ceremony in Jakarta. The agreement marks a
significant step towards the consolidation of peace, security and
community stabilization throughout Aceh.
On 15 August, 2005, the Government of
Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement signed a Memorandum of
Understanding in Helsinki, Finland, to end the decades-long
conflict in Aceh province.
At the request of the Government of Indonesia,
and with the financial support of the European Commission, IOM has
begun implementing a reinsertion and reintegration package for
3,000 former GAM combatants and roughly 2,000 amnestied political
IOM lent immediate support to the peace effort
by providing logistical and technical assistance to the
Government’s efforts to ensure roughly 1,400 amnestied
political prisoners were returned home from prisons in Java and
Aceh on 31 August, 2005.
The Organization also assisted the
implementation between that release date and mid-January 2006 of a
three-phase transitional safety-net allowance to these amnestied
prisoners and more than 450 others freed two days after the MoU was
With Japan’s significant new
contribution, IOM’s support to the Indonesian government
moves into a new phase during which longer-term individual support
programs and assistance to host communities will be provided.
The funds will be used to develop livelihood
programs for ex-prisoners and former combatants through the
Provincial Social Affairs Office’s (Dinas Sosial) network of
nine IOM-supported Information, Counselling and Referral Services
offices around Aceh province.
These individually tailored livelihood
opportunities include vocational training and material support to
small businesses and cooperatives, and assistance to existing
businesses that will allow them to expand, absorb and train
additional staff from the target groups.
Over the past decade, IOM programs
internationally have helped governments successfully demobilize and
return to civilian life thousands of former combatants in Asia,
Africa and Latin America, most recently in the province of Kosovo,
Afghanistan and Timor-Leste.
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